Buick Encore Vs. Kia Soul

Compact crossovers offer tons of space and features for such small footprints, and two great options in this class are the Buick Encore and Kia Soul. Which of these small people haulers is best for you, our Jacksonville area car shoppers? Continue reading to find out. 


The Kia Soul is all-new for 2020, but it is not a far cry from its boxy, eye-grabbing roots. The big differences in the 2020 Soul are its squinty headlights with available LED tech, new taillights, a larger body, and a massive lower front grille. Overall, the Soul retains its boxy body, but it gains a ton more sportiness. 

The Buick Encore is an oldie but goodie, as it went through its last redesign way back in 2013. Fortunately, this redesign put it ahead of its time and gave it a premium look the compact crossover class lacked with its sharp creases, waterfall grille, and available LED lighting. 

The Kia Soul is an economy car at its roots, so its base LX trim level is relatively basic with its 16-inch steel wheels and halogen headlights, but it has available 17- to 18-inch aluminum wheels, LED lighting, and more in its higher trim levels. The 2019 Buick Encore has more premium standard exterior features, including 18-inch aluminum wheels, an acoustic windshield, and LED daytime running lights. As you move through the trim levels, the Encore nears a luxury car with its full-LED lighting, unique wheels, and chrome trimming. 


The 2020 Kia Soul is shorter than the Encore, making it easier to maneuver, but its wider body can make parking in tight spaces harder. 


Measurement 2019 Buick Encore 2020 Kia Soul Difference
Length 168.4 inches 165.2 inches +3.2 inches
Width 69.9 inches 70.9 inches 1 inch
Height 65.2 inches 63 inches +2.2 inches
Wheelbase 100.6 inches 102.4 inches -1.8 inches
Ground Clearance
6.7 inches
Curb weight 3,237 to 3,358 pounds 2,802 to 3,036 pounds +201 to +556 pounds


Advantage: 2020 Kia Soul

  • Sporty, new look
  • Tons of customization
  • Shorter and easier to zip through traffic

Advantage: 2019 Buick Encore

  • More upscale appearance
  • More premium standard features
  • Narrower and easier to park


Inside, the Kia Soul’s new cabin boasts a stylish circular infotainment bezel and HVAC surround combined with a shapely instrument panel. This smooth-edged design is a great contrast to the Soul’s boxy body, but it is relatively simple for such a striking vehicle. 


The 2019 Buick Encore’s interior is older but still quite upscale looking with its swoopy insert, 8-inch touchscreen, unique steering wheel, and more. 

The 2020 Soul’s list of standard features is relatively long for an economy car. It includes a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio system, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and three 12-volt power outlets. On its options list are tons of premium goodies that easily beat the Encore with its 10.25-inch touchscreen, navigation, and a Harmon Kardon audio system. 

The 2019 Buick Encore’s standard features list is packed with a 4.2-inch color driver-information center. 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, six-speaker audio system, active noise cancellation, 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, Siri Eyes Free, and more. 


In terms of roominess, the Kia Soul has more room in every measurable other than front headroom. Where the Soul gets its biggest advantage is in rear legroom and cargo room. 


Measurement 2019 Buick Encore 2020 Kia Soul Difference
Front headroom 39.6 inches 39.4 inches +0.2 inches
Front legroom 40.8 inches 41.1 inches -0.3 inches
Front shoulder room 54.8 inches 55.5 inches -0.7 inches
Front hip room 51.6 inches
Rear headroom 38.8 inches 39.5 inches -0.7 inches
Rear legroom 35.7 inches 38.8 inches -3.1 inches
Rear shoulder room 52.5 inches 54.7 inches -2.2 inches
Rear hip room 50.1 inches
Cargo room (Rear seat upright) 18.8 cubic feet 18.7 to 24.2 cubic feet -5.4 to -0.1 cubic feet
Cargo room (Rear seat folded) 48.4 cubic feet 62.1 cubic feet -13.7 cubic feet


Advantage: 2020 Kia Soul

  • More interior room
  • Huge optional touchscreen
  • Plenty of cargo room

Advantage: 2019 Buick Encore

  • More premium-looking cabin
  • Larger standard touchscreen
  • Peaceful cabin


The Buick Encore has two turbocharged four-cylinder engines available. The base is a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder that cranks out 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. Buyers seeking more performance can opt for a high-output version of this engine that pumps out 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. The lower-powered engine sprints the Encore to 60 mph in an estimated 9.3 seconds, while the high-output engine does the same sprint in 7.8 seconds. 

The Kia Soul uses a standard 2.0-liter engine with 147 horsepower and a six-speed manual transmission to deliver an 8.3-second 0-to-60 time. Opt for the GT-Line 1.6T trim and get a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that cranks out 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This engine pairs with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and delivers a satisfying 6.5-second 0-to-60 time. 

2019 Buick Encore 2020 Kia Soul Difference
Standard engine 1.4-liter turbo 4-cyl 2.0-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 138 hp at 4,900 rpm 147 hp at 6,200 rpm -9 hp
Torque 148 lb-ft at 1,850 rpm 132 lb-ft at 4,500 rpm +16 lb-ft
Standard transmission 6-spd automatic 6-spd manual
Optional transmission
Driveline FWD (std) / AWD (opt) FWD
0-60 time 9.3 seconds (est) 8.3 seconds 1 second
MPG City 25 to 26 mpg 25 to 29 mpg -4 to +1 mpg
MPG Highway 30 to 31 mpg 31 to 35 mpg -5 to +0 mpg
MPG Combined 27 to 28 mpg 27 to 31 mpg -4 to +1 mpg
Optional engine 1.4-liter high-output 4-cyl 1.6-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower 153 hp at 5,600 rpm 201 hp at 6,000 rpm -48 hp
Torque 177 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm 195 lb-ft at 1,500 to 4,500 rpm -18 lb-ft
Transmission 6-spd automatic 7-spd dual-clutch
Driveline FWD (std) / AWD (opt) FWD
0-60 time 7.8 seconds 6.5 seconds +1.3 seconds
MPG City 27 mpg 27 mpg +0 mpg
MPG Highway 29 to 30 mpg 32 mpg -3 to -2 mpg
MPG Combined 26 to 27 mpg 29 mpg -3 to -2 mpg


Advantage: 2020 Kia Soul

  • Quicker base acceleration
  • Surprisingly quick GT-Line 1.6T trim
  • Smooth handling

Advantage: 2019 Buick Encore

  • Smooth, quiet ride

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Buick Encore has four trim levels — 1SV, Preferred, Sport Touring, and Essence — and their starting prices range from $24,195 to $30,295.


There are six trim levels in the 2020 Kia Soul: LX, S, X-Line, EX, GT-Line 2.0L, and GT-Line 1.6T. Their starting prices range from $17,490 to $27,490. 

2019 Buick Encore Key Features and Pricing by Trim

1SV: $24,195

  • 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electric power steering
  • Ride and handling suspension
  • 18-inch machined-face alloy wheel with Light Argent Metallic pockets
  • Acoustic laminated glass
  • Body-color door handles with chrome strips
  • Styled-steel exhaust tip
  • Keyless open and ignition
  • Front and rear accent-color fascias
  • Deep-tinted glass
  • Halogen headlights
  • Heated, power mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Roof-mounted side rails
  • Rear intermittent wipers
  • Intermittent windshield wipers
  • Two-way manual passenger’s seat
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • 4.2-inch color driver-information center
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Single-zone manual climate control
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Buick Connected Access capable
  • Buick Infotainment System
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SiriusXM
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • USB ports
  • Cruise control
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows
  • Flat-folding passenger’s seatback
  • Front passenger underseat storage
  • OnStar
  • Triple door seals
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Rearview camera


Preferred: $25,595

  • All 1SV features, plus
  • Carpeted floor mats
  • Retractable cargo shade


Sport Touring: $26,795

  • All Preferred features, plus
  • 18-inch Midnight Silver aluminum alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Rear sport spoiler
  • Remote ignition


Essence: $30,295

  • All Preferred features, plus
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels with Technical Gray pockets
  • Fog lights
  • LED headlights
  • 120-volt power outlet
  • Six-way power passenger’s seat
  • Driver’s seat memory
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Remote ignition
  • Universal home remote
  • Leather seating
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Blind-zone alert

2020 Kia Soul Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $17,490

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electric power steering
  • 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Multifocus reflector headlights
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • Positioning lights
  • LED high-mounted brake light
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Tinted windows
  • Power mirrors
  • Black grille
  • Body-color bumpers
  • Body-color exterior accents
  • Gloss-black A-pillars
  • Matte-black fender garnish with “Soul” emblem
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Outside temperature display
  • Digital clock
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • Matte-silver interior door handles
  • Deluxe upper door trim
  • Door scuff plates
  • Woven and knit cloth seat trim
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Polyurethane shifter knob
  • Air conditioning
  • 7-inch color touchscreen
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/MP3 audio system 
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • USB ports
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Three 12-volt power outlets
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Power windows with one-touch-auto-down driver’s glass
  • Power door locks
  • Brake Assist
  • Hill-start assist


S: $20,290

  • All LX features, plus
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • Automatic idle stop
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Center console armrest with storage
  • Premium cloth seating
  • Cruise control
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Folding key with panic alarm
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Lane-change assist
  • Driver-attention warning
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert


GT-Line 2.0L: $20,290

  • All LX features, plus
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Gloss-black outside mirrors
  • Unique front and rear fascias
  • Unique side sills with red accents and black beltline
  • Gloss-black fender garnish with “Soul” emblem
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Driver-attention warning


X-Line: $21,490

  • All LX features, plus
  • CVT
  • Automatic engine idle stop
  • Unique 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Fog lights
  • Silver outside mirrors
  • Body-color exterior door handles
  • Roof rails
  • Center armrest and storage
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Cruise control
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Folding key with panic alarm
  • Lane-change assist
  • Blind-spot collision warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert


GT-Line 1.6T: $27,490

  • All GT-Line 2.0L features, plus
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Dual-clutch transmission
  • LED headlights
  • LED positioning lights
  • LED fog lights
  • LED rear combination lights
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • Chrome-tipped center-exit exhaust
  • Power sunroof
  • Rear center armrest with cup holders
  • Satin-chrome inside door handles
  • LED interior lighting
  • Dual-level cargo board
  • Cargo cover
  • Leatherette-and-cloth seat trim
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen
  • HD Radio
  • Satellite radio
  • Navigation
  • Harman Kardon premium audio system with a center speaker, subwoofer, and amplifier
  • Speaker lights
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition
  • Two USB charging ports in the center console
  • 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area
  • Smart key with push-button ignition
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-change assist
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Head-up display

Who Should Buy the 2020 Kia Soul?

Buyers who seek a more aggressive, standout design will fall in love with the 2020 Kia Soul. Sure, its design isn’t for everyone, but it is great for those looking for that. Also, with its superior performance, the 2020 Soul caters to the gearhead crowd. 

Who Should Buy the 2019 Buick Encore?

Seeking something more luxurious but don’t need a luxury car payment? The 2019 Buick Encore offers tons of upscale standard features and the brand’s signature Quiet Tuning technology, giving it a more premium feel than its price point would lead you to believe. 


Ready to tackle the streets of Jacksonville in a well-equipped crossover with a value-building price tag? The 2019 Buick Encore delivers that and more. Whether you need a premium crossover to commute to work in Orange Park or to visit friends in Fleming Island, the 2019 Encore delivers the goods. Head down to our Green Cove Springs area new-Buick showroom today to take the 2019 Encore for a spin. Can’t make it to our showroom today? Navigate to our online inventory page to see all our in-stock 2019 Encore models, choose a few that suit your needs, and schedule a test drive.  

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